HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Moves Against Texis Cartel's Once Untouchable Leaders
BRIEF

El Salvador Moves Against Texis Cartel's Once Untouchable Leaders

CHEPE DIABLO / 25 APR 2014 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

El Salvador's attorney general is taking the Al Capone route to nailing the Texis Cartel by charging the drug trafficking and money laundering group's principal leaders with tax evasion, in the latest attempt to end the impunity they have enjoyed until now. 

Authorities have formally charged two of the group's three founders, Jose Adan Salazar, alias "Chepe Diablo," and Mayor of Metapan Juan Umaña, as well as Umaña's son Wilfredo Guerra, with evading taxes to the sum of $2.3 million, reported La Prensa Grafica.

SEE ALSO: Chepe Diablo Profile

Businessman Salazar is accused of personally avoiding $834,000 in tax, as well as almost $82,000 through his hotel chain Hotesa. Guerra faces charges of personally avoiding $637,000, as well as a further $365,000 through grain company Gumarsal, while Umaña is accused of not paying almost $69,000.

Though he cast doubt over the validity of the accusations, Salazar's lawyer suggested his client could offer to pay off the outstanding tax bill, reported El Mundo.

The charges against Salazar and Umaña come 10 months after the arrest of cattle rancher Roberto "El Burro" Herrera, the third founder of the trafficking group, on charges of auto theft.

InSight Crime Analysis

For years, the Texis Cartel were untouchable, using top level contacts in politics, law enforcement and justice to avoid prosecution for their illegal activities.

The first cracks in this wall of impunity began to appear with the arrest of Herrera, who had previously wriggled out from under several attempts to bring him to justice. This was followed by the prosecution of several other Texis Cartel associates, as investigators inched closer to Umaña and arguably the biggest prize, Salazar -- El Chepe Diablo.

At the time of Herrera's arrest, officials told InSight Crime prosecution of the cartel would almost certainly focus on money not drugs, saying, "Even if they don't find traces of cocaine, there are traces of cash" -- and this has now proved the case.

Given the high-level connections that have facilitated the activities of the Texis Cartel for many years, this latest development in the case will be significant cause for concern for many Salvadoran powerbrokers. If Salazar, Umaña and Herrera reach a point where incarceration becomes unavoidable, they may decide to take corrupt public officials down with them.

However, such an outcome likely remains a long way off, with the financial resources available to the men likely to guarantee a drawn-out legal process. Extradition to the United States -- where cooperation not connections serves as the only hope for a more lenient sentence -- remains the greatest possibility for full disclosure from any of the arrested men but no request has yet been forthcoming in any of the cases.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EL SALVADOR / 1 JUL 2021

Multiple sources from the United States and El Salvador say the recent decision to temporarily halt the extradition of several…

BARRIO 18 / 1 MAR 2022

Dozens of Barrio 18 members in El Salvador allegedly conspired with street vendors to divert pandemic relief funds.

CHEPE DIABLO / 26 MAY 2021

José Adán Salazar Umaña, alias "Chepe Diablo," does not fit the normal profile of a criminal leader. As the former…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…